"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hummingbird favorites in my garden.

I've had some people ask me which plants attract hummingbirds in my garden, so I thought I would list the most popular flowers and shrubs that I have.  I wish I had great pictures of the hummingbirds at the flowers they like, but I've almost given up trying.  I see them there, run for the camera, and they're gone.  We have hummers here almost year round.  One day maybe I'll have some time out there when I can sit and be ready, maybe once school starts and I don't have an entourage with me each time I walk outside.  
Even during our coldest months the last couple of winters they have been visiting the fuchsia until it succumbed to frost for the season.  After that I left feeders up for the birds that were already here.   
Here are some of their absolute favorites in my yard.

Starting in Spring the first flowers they go for are:
Heucheras, and in my garden they prefer the red flowered ones the most.  These bloom into early summer.

Weigela 'Minuet' stays small and has lots of the tube shaped flowers the hummingbirds love.

This is another Spring shrub they fight over.  Pink Flowering Currant (ribes sanguineum).  This picture doesn't do it justice, it's so pretty.  It grows in part shade and has gotten to be at least 8 feet tall.
Other spring bloomer they like here are Columbines and Foxgloves.

Summer favorites, many of which bloom until the first frost:
Monardas are always popular, but the 'Jacob Cline' is like a magnet for them.  They are pretty territorial over this plant.  I wish they would just leave each other alone so I could see more than one feeding at a time.  This starts blooming in early summer.

Phlox, especially this pink one, they visit frequently.

Verbena bonariensis which self seeds everywhere (and I like that) blooms through fall.

Fuchsia magellanica starts blooming early summer until the first frost.  I have several hardy fuchsias in my garden, but this large red one is the most popular.  If you look really hard you can see a hummingbird.

Autumn Sage 'Rose Pink (Salvia greggii) is new in my garden and the hummingbirds found it right away.  I hope the name is right and it blooms into Autumn.  Another attempt at a picture, there is the blur of one on the right.

Cardinal Flower (lobelia cardinalis) which grows in the pond, will bloom through fall.

In August Butterfly Bush (Buddleia alternifolia) starts to bloom and continues through fall.  When I went out to take this picture there was a hummingbird feeding at it.  I made the mistakes of wearing flip flops as I walked up to take the picture.  Note to self:  bare feet or shoes that don't make noise are easier to sneak up on birds with.

Rose of Sharon 'Minerva' (Hibiscus syriacus) is always a late bloomer here.  When I was out by it the other day watching a hummingbird, one flew right to me about a foot away from where I was standing.  It startled me so much I couldn't get the camera focused fast enough.  I realized after why it flew right to me, I had a bright pink shirt on.

I don't think I'd ever seen a hummingbird up close until I rented a house that had Rose Campion throughout the entire garden.  Once I read more about what flowers they liked and had my own garden to plant in, it became an important part of choosing flowers.  Now that I see them frequently I still get excited and will call my girls or my husband to come and look at them buzzing from flower to flower, or stopping to rest in a low brach of a tree.  
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32 comments:

  1. Looks like you've got lots of hummingbird blooms Catherine! They are so much fun to watch. This year they've been hanging around the compost bin almost as much as the blooms. Apparently they like the fungus gnats. That came as a surprise to me.

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  2. Great idea to post about favorite hummingbird flowers Catherine. They like many of the same ones in my garden but their very favorite has to be the scrophularia here. I had no idea they liked phlox! That surprises me. You have so many beautiful fuchsias ~ I love that red one and yay ~ I found the hummingbird! I sure understand how hard it is to get a photo. :-) Also, very envious that you have them year around. That would be a real treat. We have such a small window of time in which to see them and it always goes so fast.

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  3. What a helpful list of flowers to attract hummers, thanks!
    Dirt Princess gave me a cardinal flower and I can't wait for it to bloom! I'm going to plant it in the pond.

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  4. I, too could watch the hummers all day long. They are so cute buzzing about!!!! I love when they just hang in midflight with their wings going a zillion miles/minute!! Your garden is beautiful. They must think they hit the best buffet in town!

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  5. All beautiful! I am disappointed with my Jacob Cline bee balm which is not supposed to get powdery mildew. Mine are covered with it. :(

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  6. With blooms like that I can see why hummers love your garden. Wish we had hummers year around. Ours are here during summer and they leave in the fall.

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  7. Wonderful! You've got nectar and pollen loving bugs/birds covered. It is scary when the critters surprise you in the garden. One wrong step backwards and you've destroyed a whole other haven of insectville.

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  8. Great photos of beautiful hummingbird flowers in your garden! Everything looks so healthy! And I loved finding the hummers in your photos.

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  9. You have a lot of the same hummingbird plants as I do. Ours also like the catmint, penstemon, and interestingly they seem to like tomato blossoms!

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  10. Hummers are so much fun. Your plants are all so pretty. You sure can't blame the hummers for liking them. Here they like all of those plus impatiens, agapanthus, hostas, and salvias. The touch me nots have them going wild lately. I wish I could get a video of them.

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  11. Such beautiful flowers Catherine. I have a few of the ones you picture and we have such fun watching the antics of the hummers. Thanks for all the lovely photos tonight.

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  12. Amazing colors, Catherine...such a vibrant group of flowers! Thanks for the lovely pictures...

    http://theurbanbalcony.blogspot.com/

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  13. No wonder the hummers love coming to your garden. Each of those wonderfully beautiful blooms call out to the hummingbirds!

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  14. Great post! Love the Lobelia cardinalis. Isn't it interesting, though, what the hummers will go for? Mine like the Agapanthus. Maybe they're colorblind.

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  15. This might be my fav post of yours yet! I need to find room for some of these at my place, I fear the hummers only pass through when it's jasmine time and don't seem to find that much else. They looked sadly at my struggling rosemary and flew on by. Love that shot of the one hovering in the fuschia! That is one happy bird.

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  16. This is great post regarding humms.

    In our climate we have got sun birds instead of humming birds. and the most attractive plant for these is red hot pocker from SA.

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  17. The hummingbirds seem to have an eye for colour! Beautiful flowers.

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  18. You have a great selection of plants. The Beebalm is out of this world !
    Don't see hummers when my Weigela is in bloom.
    Reminded me... I have to prune my butterfly bush come spring ...I think.

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  19. Thanks everyone for visiting. It's interesting seeing what other flowers hummingbirds like in other gardens.

    Phillip - That's too bad about you 'Jacob Cline', mine hasn't gotten powdery mildew, but just about all the rest of the monardas I have do.

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  20. If I was a hummingbird I'd live in your garden too. So many delicious flowers to choose from! The Pink Flowering Currant looks beautiful. That's a good picture of the hummingbird feeding on the Hardy Fuschia. How wonderful to have Hummingbirds year round.

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  21. Your flowers are way over the top gorgeous!! We have hummers everywhere in the gardens and two feeders on the porch..they will dive bomb at us sometimes..

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  22. You do have a nice collection of flowers for your hummingbirds. With all of those do you also feed them with the bottles so many people use?

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  23. Wonderful rundown!! Feeding the humers naturally is what got me excited to learn about gardening about 10 years ago. They are just such little miracles. So many of my favorites in your lineup, I was thrilled to see Cardinal Flower! Someday we'll have some kind of pond or fountain for those tall stately beauties. So undemanding and they even seem to like being crowded into pots, gotta love that. Another sensational photo post, brava!

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  24. Hi Catherine~~ Only occasionally are hummingbirds NOT raiding my garden. LOL. I've gotten so used to them I hardly pay attention. That is until one buzzes past me at a trillion miles per second. Talk about unnerving! I wish they weren't so territorial too. I keep trying to convince myself that they're "just playing," like Quiddich or something but I guess even this game can get kind of brutal. Do you grow Agastache? This is another hummer-favorite. I've been growing Salvia gregeii for several years. Unfortunately it's not reliably hardy but with a little winter coddling it will make it. I usually take a few cuttings, which root easily, just in case. I think your Ribes photo does indeed do it justice. Fabulous photos as usual. :]

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  25. How lucky you are to get hummingbirds! I have never seen one - we don't have them over here.

    Love the Lobelia cardinalis!

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  26. Beautiful flowers and so lucky to have hummingbirds

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  27. Go Away, I'm Gardening!August 28, 2009 at 7:29 AM

    Wow! What a beautiful garden you have. I love your great pictures. I will have to remember the names of the ones you posted!

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  28. Hi Catherine. Beautiful Heucheras.I can see how hummingbirds would love your Weigela.

    The jacob Cline Monardas is stunning. I must try to grow this one next year (I'll make a list).

    I tried Fuchsia magellanica, but I think it's just too hot and humid here (particularly warm nights). What a shame.

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  29. Oh, so many pretty red flowers! With such choices, the hummers have to love it there.

    Please let me add these two for the benefit of your readers in the Gulf States, Tecoma stans (esperanza to the Texans) and red Shrimp plant. A hummer startled me flying out of the yellow bells of esperanza the other day. He could have been also visiting Pride of Barbados.

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  30. How wonderful to have hummers almost all year! I have several of the early bloomers, but they bloom before the hummers arrive. You've given me several great shrubs to add to my list...I forget how attractive wiegelia really is! The shot of the flowering heuchera is beautiful, those tiny flowers are hard to capture! gail

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  31. More beauties! The Jacob Cline remind me of jesters! Today I was outside and saw TWO hummingbirds flitting around. I ran to get my camera and saw them, but by the time I got the camera ready, they were gone! So maddening!

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  32. If I was a hummingbird I would come to your yard and stay! It is very lovely.

    I have tried to attract hummingbirds to my yard for three years.

    I don't get to see them on a regular basis and I was really lucky to see one when in late September of this year around 8am I spotted a Ruby throat Hummingbird eating from my Weigela.

    I didn't have time to grab my camera, I only had time to smile! and I smiled about it all day!

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